Edward Leo Lyman on the Abraham H. Cannon Diaries at Benchmark Books, December 1, 2010

By November 17, 2010

Image from Confetti Antiques and Books-confettiantiques.com


Event announcement from Benchmark Books:


With pleasure we announce the publication of CANDID INSIGHTS OF A MORMON APOSTLE: THE DIARIES OF ABRAHAM H. CANNON, 1889-1895, edited by Edward Leo Lyman, published by Signature Books in association with the Smith-Pettit Foundation. In a limited edition of 500 numbered copies this handsome book is the twelfth volume in the prestigious Significant Mormon Diaries Series. The editor will be at our store on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to talk about and sign his book. He will speak at 6:00 p.m. and answer questions from the audience, signing books before and after that time.

Many men have made their mark in the leadership of the LDS Church, but few have done as much at such an early age as Abraham H. Cannon, son of apostle and First Presidency member, George Q. Cannon. Called to be a member of the First Council of the Seventy in 1882 at age 23, he went on to serve as an apostle seven years later until his death in 1896 at only age 37. He was founder or director of over twenty companies and enterprises in Utah?s formative period. He was instrumental in operating the Church?s Juvenile Instructor and Contributor magazines as well as writing for both publications. Cannon also proudly served time in prison for polygamy.

Cannon kept a detailed and candid diary in which he recorded, as historian D. Michael Quinn notes, ?details of everything from the plots of plays performed at the Salt Lake Theatre to confidential meetings of the LDS leadership, from board meetings of major businesses to the complaints and unhappiness of his plural wives . . . to Abram?s decision to marry a new plural wife in July 1896.? B. Carmon Hardy states that ?Cannon?s personal record really opens to our view the inner sanctum of Church leadership in late-nineteenth-century Mormon life.? Lyman writes that Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle ?contains the deliberations and decisions of the First Presidency and apostles prior to the Manifesto ending polygamy, which are found nowhere else.?

Edward Leo Lyman is an award-winning historian who has written scores of books and articles on Mormon and western history. This year he won the Mormon History Association?s Best Book Award for his biography, Amasa Mason Lyman, Mormon Apostle and Apostate, A Study in Dedication.

We hope you will be able to attend this event which is sure to be fascinating and informative, but, if you can?t and would like to have books signed or personalized, we will gladly take prepaid orders and either hold or ship them to you.

Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle $125.00

Amasa Mason Lyman                                                        $39.95

USED BOOK SALE: Most used and out-of-print items in the store are 20% off,

now through November 30. Old Testament materials – 25% off.

Shipping and handling of diary: $9.50 for first copy (media mail including insurance), $3.00 for each additional. FedEx also available (inquire for specific rates). Utah residents add 6.85% sales tax.


3269 So. Main Street, Suite 250

Salt Lake City, UT  84115

Phone: 800-486-3112, (801) 486-3111

Email: benchmarkbooks@integra.net

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. There is a huge amount of material here. I’m curious about what rationale was employed in this extraction. Reading through the originals took me months.

    Comment by WVS — November 17, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  2. Several major things that Leo was aiming at: 1. avoiding the editing in the earlier version that removed “touchy” subjects, 2. including financial matters (of particular interest to Leo and his research) and 3. including more in general (800 pages!)

    Comment by Bryan — November 18, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  3. Of all the 19th century handwriting I have read, Cannon’s is refreshingly legible. It is a great source, and I look forward to Lyman’s volume.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 18, 2010 @ 5:18 pm


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